Perhaps one of the bigger misunderstandings about being in the music business at a young age or when you just get started is how important it is to work on your public life when you're not on the stage. I'm not really talking about interviews, but more about how today's fans are keenly interested in knowing the "real" artist, not just the one they see on the stage or in a music video or interview.
Enter social media.
I know I've spoken briefly about it in past blogs, but I wanted to delve into a little more of the nuts and bolts in this new post.
When Spencer first got started online with posting videos on Youtube, we did some research on how artists were using "video" to promote themselves. What methods were being used to build a fan base? What could an emerging artist do to capitalize on the very real fact that nearly every mobile phone user nowadays has access to Youtube? High speed internet in nearly every home and business in America as well as public access to FREE wifi has seriously changed the way fans connect with their favorite artists. So how can video help?
I stumbled across a thing called a VLOG (video blogging)... aka talking to your video camera on your iPad or phone or even digital video camera and basically doing a monologue. Sounds simple enough. Let's magnify this even more. Since 2010 (when Spencer started) things have rapidly changed. The social media world is more than Facebook and Youtube now. It's Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Google+, SKYPE and more. Fans use these apps every single day and if you want to build a fan base, you need to be where the fans already are spending their time every day. What's more is that you need to observe how artists are using these platforms to promote their music. Sites like bandcamp, soundcloud and a few others are also social media platforms that introduce fans to your music.
Back to video.
So entire careers are being launched on the platform of VINE by artists who use it for a 7 sec video clip of their humor, thoughts, or music sound bites. 7 Seconds. Entire "tours" of VINERS are occurring across the nation. Fans "pay" to go see famous VINERS in person where they do nothing more than do meet and greets with the public. The power of a 7 second video clip has evolved into fan building. Instagram also has video now (15 seconds) where you can create video vignettes of whatever.
Taking a page from Spencer's playbook. He uses his Youtube channel to post VLOGS. He uses Vine to post quick goofy insights into his daily life and thoughts. He uses Instagram to post pics of his real life situations and the video on Instagram to showcase a quick a capella rendition of a song he's working on or even a clip of an upcoming music video he's releasing.
You see, it's not just about putting out good music and performing on a stage, it's about SELLING your brand (your artist name) and image to as wide a fan base as possible in whatever method or platform you can.
So instead of always thinking about the next song or music video, think of how you can share the real life artist with the public in a way that is cohesive to your artistry goals. Always think, "Is this going to relate to the fans I'm trying to reach or get?" Frankly, we live in a reality TV culture in America and instead of waiting for a reality TV show to invite you to be a member of their cast, simply use the tools you have access to on the web to make your own REALITY show about your life as an artist.
Fans love it.
In order to maintain loyalty among fans, you have to do something between song releases and concerts to keep them engaged in your artist life. If you don't, there is far too much stimulating content online to get their attention and help them move on. In the world of web development, the phrase "content is king" has always been given to my clients as a warning to not let their websites go stale. People need something to keep them coming back and interested. This is why when you're not doing music live or on recorded videos, then you need to engage them in whatever way you feel most comfortable and is in sync with your overall strategy as an artist.